California extends ambitious climate change law

By Lauren Clark, Sep 09, 2016, 12:25 1 minute reading

On 8 September California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law to increase the ambition of the state’s climate change legislation. A law passed in 2006 seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The new legislation increases those targets, aiming to cut emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

California, the most populous state in the US, is currently on track to meet the original 2020 climate goal. The target is being delivered by restricting the carbon content of gasoline and diesel, imposing a tax on pollution, and encouraging the sale of zero-emission vehicles.

To meet the ambitious goals laid out in the new legislation, the state plans to ramp up renewable electricity use, boost energy efficiency in existing buildings, and put 1.5 million zero-emission cars on the road, explained the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Proposed HFC reduction to help reach new targets

Additionally, CARB has proposed to cut HFC emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2013 levels. This target will help the state achieve its new greenhouse gas emission goal.

The Proposed Strategy, published in April 2016, includes the following key measures to address the use of HFCs:

  • A ban on the use of HFCs with GWP > 150 in new non-residential refrigeration (commercial and industrial) as of 1 January 2020;A ban on the use of HFCs with GWP > 150 in new residential refrigeration as of 1 January 2021;
  • A ban on the use of HFCs with GWP > 750 in new air conditioning (residential, commercial, industrial) as of 1 January 2021;
  • Prohibiting the sale of new refrigerants with GWP > 2500 as of 1 January 2020 (recycled / reclaimed refrigerants would be exempt);
  • Financial incentives to help accelerate uptake of low-GWP refrigeration equipment, and;
  • Potential California-wide HFC phase-down in the absence of an international agreement in 2016.

The Proposed Strategy notes that, “early action, ahead of some of the phase down schedules being proposed internationally, can avoid locking-in the use of high-GWP refrigerants in new or retrofitted systems in the coming years”.

The strategy is expected to be adopted by the end of the year.

By Lauren Clark

Sep 09, 2016, 12:25

Related stories

Sign up to our Newsletter

Fill in the details below